Officials claim the veteran driver refused to take a drug test afterward.
Eight people were hurt — but miraculously no-one killed — when a New York bus plunged 50ft off an overpass on Thursday night.
Shocking pictures from the scene show the front of the MTA tandem bus hanging nose down, completely perpendicular to the street, with its rear half perched precariously on the Cross Bronx Expressway above.
Fire and rescue described having to deal with two emergency scenes simultaneously: “We had two scenes here where Rescue 3 began securing the bus up-top while Engine 43 made their way around to begin treatment of the civilian patients,” FDNY Acting Battalion Chief Steven Moore said during the operation. “Currently we are making sure all the fuel and other hazardous materials within the vehicle is secured until the bus can be pulled onto the roadway.”
FDNY Deputy Chief Paul Hopper meanwhile oversaw the emergency medical treatment and transport of those injured: “We assessed and treated a total of eight patients from this accident. The bus fell approximately 50 feet onto the access road. The patients suffered injuries consistent with a fall from such a great height.”
The driver, a 55-year-old veteran of 11 years, was among those injured. He passed a breath test at the scene, but according to transport authorities, refused to take further drug or alcohol tests.
Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg said the development was “extremely troubling”, NY Daily News reported, adding it is “extremely rare for someone not to agree to cooperate.”
She claimed the driver had been traveling along his usual route at a dangerous speed of 17-26 miles per hour; the crash occurred while making a left turn that required a speed of less than 5 miles per hour.
“Speed is clearly a factor and of obvious concern to us,” she said. “The bus appears, according to GPS, to be going at a high rate of speed as it attempted to make the turn.”
The driver helped his passengers escape the wreck of the bus, which had passed a safety inspection as recent as the day before.